Topshop Winter '16 Haul

I've been a bit MIA recently thanks to starting a new job recently. If you follow me on Instagram then you will already be well aware of this (and I might do a little post about my career change and how I managed to land my dream job in the space of 9 months).

Working for Topshop/Topman means that come every new season you need to be representing the brand as 'fashion with authority'. Here are just a few of my picks for this Winter '16:

Clockwise: Metallic Jumper by Boutique, Fine Stripe Mensy Fit Trousers by Boutique, Oversized Funnel Neck Jumper, Boiled Wool Skirt by Boutique, Tiny Pleat Top by Boutique, Magnificent Ankle Sock Boots.

It's probably clear that from my selection...I adore Topshop Boutique. It's description for the season of bringing 'inimitable cool to the holiday season with pyjama tailoring and decadent dresses' sums it up perfectly. 

I'm never usually a glittery sparkles Christmas kinda gal, but I couldn't resist this Metallic Jumper for £60 because it's not only eye catching but the shape is tailored to perfection. I'm a huge fan of tailoring especially on a good trouser which is why I think I was drawn to the Mensy Trousers at £85. The beauty of these is that they are high waister AND comfortable. I've often found that high waisted tailored trousers can fit everywhere else well apart from my waist and then I'm stuck in the limbo of do I go for a size bigger and loose the shape or just not eat or sit in them. Practicality is always more important in my books though. 

Now, this Oversized Funnel Neck Jumper (£39) I have basically lived in since I bought it. The collar is effortlessly chic and the boxy shape makes it the warmest, slouchy jumper I own. I've been wearing it so far without a shirt on underneath and have still been warm...I have a fair bit of doubt though that it will last like this over the next few months what with this Arctic weather we're having right now. 

I had my eye on the Boiled Wool Skirt for quite a while, always seeing it styled differently in store on the mannequin and every time making me want it more after seeing just how versatile it is. The tailoring on it is so much more than your average Topshop skirt and with the £80 price tag plus being made in Britain you would expect that. 

Next is the the Tiny Pleat Top, if I'm honest I bought a slightly different one to this which wasn't part of the Boutique range and definitely cheaper than £35. Unfortunately I couldn't find it listed on the site still and this was the closest example I could find to it! I bought the same on in white last season and love the top, mainly because of the cut of it and how it falls when on thanks to the pleats. 

Last but not least, the Magnificent Ankle Sock Boots which for the first time in a long while I squealed like a little girl over. They look gorgeous off and gorgeous on your feet too. I think several of us girls at work ended up going for them because we all just couldn't say no haha. They come in at £79 but are well worth it if you are looking to invest in a good, durable boot for the Winter season. I've worn these with basically everything e.g. skirts, culottes, jeans, trousers....you name it. As lame as it sounds, I really do recommend these. 

'Daytime Rebels' Schon! Magazine

I've been a bit busy the past few weeks with going away on holiday and finally moving into my new flat! Following all of this, I'm pretty chuffed to see that a photoshoot I was able to assist on for Schon! Magazine has now gone live. 

'Daytime Rebels' is a Schon! online editorial and all about carefree youth produced by an amazing team including photographer Tyler Morris, styling by Francesca Prudente, make-up Fiona Rose, hair styling Kristopher Smith and models Ed Hayter from Models1 and Tia Benbow-Hart from Supa Model Management.

Here's a few of the photos below and if you'd like to check out the whole thing, then head over to Schon! Magazine by clicking here.


Tia wears: Dress - Coach, Jacket - Adidas. Ed wears: Jumper - Margaret Howell. 

Tia wears: Jackets - Adidas

Ed wears: Polo - Cos, Jacket - Fred Perry

Tia wears: Dress - Calvin Klein, Hat - H&M

Ed wears: Jumper - Coach


Tia wears: Coat, Polo Neck and Skirt by Topshop Unique

Ed wears: Jacket & Jumper by Topman Design

Tia wears: Dress - Lacoste, Shoes - Nicholas Kirkwood. Ed wears: Jacket, Jumper & Trousers by Topman Design.




Desk Space

After a stressful two weeks of searching for a flat with my boyfriend and our friends who are also a couple, we have finally found the perfect place and secured it as ours.

Something I am quite excited about is the fact the new bedroom my boyfriend and I will share is big enough for my cherished desk which has been sitting in my parents garage for a pretty long time now.  I've been seeing lots of photos on Instagram of other people's desk spaces and have been craving for the same space myself. Here are a few of the objects I hope to have in my own little area.




My desk is an older version of the white/beech Linnmon / Finnvard one which Ikea is currently selling for £70. The only difference between mine and the current version is that my table top has a glass corner with a fitted light (you had to buy it as an extra at the time) which provides the perfect spot for drawing or tracing. The easel legs are a brilliant space to keep extra bits and bobs but I personally like to keep it as clear as possible to have that minimal effect. 

As some of you may know from previous posts, I love my cacti's and I'm keen to have a little spot for them on my desk to provide a bit of greenery. 

I began following Catcooee a while ago on Instagram and fell in love with not only the beautiful items she post, but her designs. On her website: www.cooee.se you will find plenty of lovely objects for your home and graphic prints. As an avid Disney fan, I have my heart set on the 'Mouse Remix' print which converted to pounds comes to £26.30. 

To keep myself organised, I tracked down the Kvissle desk organiser in the depths of the Ikea website. Whilst I save to buy either a bunch of Hay products to organise my desk or this one I found by L'atelier D'exercices, I felt that this was a good substitute for the time being. 

Photo credit: Mikkel Dahlstrom. Instagram - @mikkeldahlstroem

I've been banging on for ages to my boyfriend about how much I want a pin board again so I can have a calendar and all my 'things to do' up in front of me. Again, from Ikea there is the Vaggis noticeboard for a mere £4.50. Now, I wasn't sure if I wanted this up on the wall or on the desk along with the 'Mouse Reminx' print in a simple black frame. When I discovered the Interior Stylist and Photographer Mikkel Dahlstrom via The Poster Club's Instagram, his styling sort of fixed this dilemma for me and I am pretty sold on trying out layering these up on the desk and leaning against the wall. Also, I highly recommend the Fliqlo screensaver for Mac's as it perfectly compliments them. 

After that recommendation you might be questioning me and wondering why I would want the Flap clock from Habitat which is made my Fartech Corporation. The retro style analogue flip clock comes with a clear display of the time, month, date, day of the week, AM/PM and can display certain city names such as Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Berlin, Hong Kong, London, Oslo, Paris.....you catch my drift. This is probably the most pricey thing I would like at £60.00. Its size means it can easily placed on a shelf, desk or wall and I think this will be the object which takes the wall for me as it's quite effective and you can see from the photo below.

Photo Credit: Fartech Corporation Pintrest.


The next item you can find all over Etsy or eBay for a variety of prices, the cheapest I have found the Macbook marble case in a hard shell from a UK seller is £13.99. I'm also planning on getting the marble iPhone 6 case to satisfy my OCD with matching/symmetry.

Finally, the last object on the list and that's the Ranarp floor/reading lamp from Ikea again for £50. This I'll be going halves on with my boyfriend as it's something we both want for the room. I plan on styling this where the lamp is accessible to either my desk area or by the bed. 

Photo Credit: Instagram @blondeandbone

And last but not least, the chair. I adore the husband and wife designer duo Charles & Ray Eames. I would love to one day be able to afford one of the real mccoy Eames DSW Chair but sadly I don't have £333.00 spare to spend on a chair. The ESW Chair is like the one above but with wooden legs and I've been able to find replicas on eBay and Amazon for an amazing £29.99 with free postage and packaging. If I have some spare wall space I quite possibly will be investing on the Stendig Calendar by Simple Form which at $125.00 Australian dollars translates to £58.24, they are now taking pre-orders for 2016.

Kew Gardens

Earlier this week, it was my boyfriend's birthday so we ventured out to Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew (on me).

I think over the years living in London and for several on my own, what started off as a few cacti's from Ikea to add some greenery to my flats because lets face it, being able to afford a flat in London on your own let alone with a garden is rare thing nowadays, soon spread to a little hobby of mine.

Obviously because of these factors, I got hyped up on all the plants and went a bit OTT with photos inside Kew. If you like looking at exotic plants, palaces, oh and walking a lot, then I would strongly recommend Kew for a visit. I've seen reviews where some have felt that the entry price is too expensive at £15 an adult but I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised when it actually took us a lot longer to get round the whole thing than I expected and was well worth the money in my opinion!

So I was able to narrow my millions of photos to these few and an OOTD as well.

The Palm House

The Palm House

The Princess of Wales Conservatory

The Princess of Wales Conservatory

The Princess of Wales Conservatory

Now for my OOTD:





Unfortunately the weather wasn't as great as I had hoped and a part of my regretted not wearing tights! I love my basics when it comes to tops and I've found Uniqlo as the perfect place for them. Not only because they are affordable but also pretty good quality. This Supima Cotton Modal Long Sleeve T-Shirt in 'Gray' set me back a very fare price of £9.90. It comes in a variety of colours and I won't lie, I have several of them in different colours so I can mix and match more. 

My faux leather jacket is from H&M, I bought this a few years back now but remember it was just under £30.00. 

The skirt is a recent purchase of mine and if I say so a complete bargain. It's from Cos and I found it hiding in the depths of the sale rail with 30% off the original price. To my surprise when I got to the till it was in fact 50% off and I strolled away with a skirt worth well over £50.00 for a lot less! Cos continue to add more items to their sale and with higher discount so I strongly recommend still giving it a shot.

Those close to me will know that I am a bit of a Disney nerd (yes at my age) and I cracked into buying a pair of the Vans x Disney collection. I decided on the grey Mickey Mouse slip-ons as I found them the most versatile in the collection to team up with outfits that I wear. At £52.00 they are a set back but in my eyes, totally worth it. 

My beloved Sandro bag was a birthday gift from my boyfriend. It's one of those bags which is very deceiving to the eye as it looks like you won't fit much in it at all but in fact it's quite the opposite! When it comes to the price, all I know is that it was very expensive so it's a secret. 

Planters

Last year it was macrame plant hangers which stole my heart, this year I am all over plant stands. Living in London without a garden of my own means I've had to get creative with bringing the outdoors indoors and space. I probably have too many potted plants all over the room and some could do with a better home. The beauty of plant stands it that it not only displays your plants in a completely different way but can transform a plant to stand out against the others.

These are just a few of my favourites:

Ivy Muse is a Melbourne based brand who design plant stands and a variety of other botanical wares. Their stands aren't just beautiful but functional and it is clear that a lot of thought has gone into the designs.


Quay - Ivy Muse 'Nightshade' Collection


Quay from the Nightshade collection is perfect for a variety of pot sizes and shapes as well as allowing space at the bottom for a tray where you could even put more plants. I was thinking a cacti or two personally.

This year we have seen geometric shapes become widely popular in interiors as forecasted. Ivy Muse have drawn inspiration from this and created the Geoscapes Collection. My favourite out of all of them has to be the Butterfly stand.


Butterfly - Ivy Muse ' Geoscapes' Collection


The Butterfly stand also has it's clever design hacks to it. It isn't just for one large pot but has space around it to allow smaller pots to fit in.

Both stands are set at a price of $170 ASD which equals to around £82, not that bad and they also ship worldwide!

Now a plant stand which is a lot more local can be found at the Goodhood Store in east London. Goodhood specialise in providing brands which are not based on current trends, but to their own brand identity. A long standing favourite store of mine since moving to London in 2009.


Ferm Living Small Plant Stand (Right)


The plant stand designed by Danish brand Ferm Living is a simple design and made out of iron which has been powder-coated. I think this picture shows just how much variety it has to offer with it's ability to hold pots in all shapes. Goodhood stock the smaller version on the right for an amazing £27.

Serpentine Pavillion 2015

Serpentine Pavilion 2015. Photo taken from: http://serpentine.cosstores.com/serpentine/introduction/


The other weekend, my boyfriend and I decided to check out this years Pavilion at the Serpentine Gallery. It's a special year for Serpentine Galleries as they celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Pavilion commission. The Serpentine Pavilion itself is known worldwide for its architecture and presenting innovative temporary structures by some of the most influential architects.

This year Spanish architects Selgascano designed the Pavilion. It consists of translucent, multi-coloured fluorine-based polymer which make up its layered and weaved structure. The final product isn't just eye catching and very photogenic, but full of detail with the intricate weaving and webbing.


Taken on my iPhone 6


In conjunction with this, one of my favourite brands Cos, have been supporting the galleries Park Nights programme of live events in art, performance, theatre, film and poetry which are hosted in the Pavilion. A limited edition backpack has been created to celebrate the series of events and is designed especially for men and women. The backpack itself stays true to Cos' simple but functional and contemporary design, made out of a soft canvas with leather trim detailing. All proceeds from the backpack will be donated to the Serpentine Trust, which is pretty nice of Cos. The backpack is available from the Serpentine Gallery gift shop as well as the following Cos stores; London Covent Garden, Brompton Road, Spitafileds and Kings Road.


Cos x Serpentine Limited Edition Backpack. Photo taken from: http://serpentine.cosstores.com/serpentine/introduction/


I have to say, I fell in love with the bag instantly and even more in person. If I had around £80 spare I most definitely would have gone for it.

Now for a little OOTD taken inside the Pavilion:


It was a pretty hot day but I'm too much of a trouser girl to say goodbye to them for the summer heat (which has disappeared now). I'm loving linen at the moment as its perfect for those warmer days, allowing you to have a bit of coolness and freshness still. I found this linen long sleeved shirt in H&M for a nifty £14.99, jeans are vintage Levi's purchased from Rokit quite a few years ago and are still going strong, Goodhood 'Stay Free Forever' Tote bag from the Goodhood Store and Adidas Gazelles from Office. 

Introduction

I've finally done it, after a three year hiatus from blogging I have made the decision to return. Following a number of changes in my life and deciding to go forward in pursuing a different career path, I felt that now is the time.

So, what is El-Sen?

'El-Sen' is a slight play on my second name but with a Scandinavian-esque twist (in a way). I completely admire Scandinavian design and minimalism which has a strong influence in my Interior Styling and general choice in fashion/lifestyle products.

I hope that El-Sen will be an area in which I can share and explore many of the things I am passionate about in my day-to-day life. These include lifestyle products, interiors and fashion.

With that, I would like to welcome you to El-Sen and say a huge thank you to those who have encouraged me to do this again.